In retrospect, the steps that brought Paweł Pawlikowski back to his native Warsaw seven years ago sound something like fate. He had been uprooted from his home city at 14 in 1971 when his parents divorced and his mother abruptly married an Englishman, spiriting Pawlikowski, without papers, to London. Although he had gone back to Poland to visit family during the Solidarity years and after the Wall came down, the thought of living back near his childhood home came as a surprise.
Not long after his 2004 film My Summer of Love won a Bafta as best British film, Pawlikowski suffered tragedy with the sudden death of his Russian wife. He took himself away from film-making for